Brief history: I started coming to Guyana five years ago (July 2010 being my first time), and for the most part have been making these trips ever since (excluding the time I applied for Bethel and worked there for a little while). Typically my trips ranged from 6-9 months, and each time I ran out of money I would return to Ohio and work to save more money for another trip. This would usually take between 3-4 months depending on how long I intended to stay, and how well I budgeted my money upon arrival.
However, in preparation for this trip back to Guyana, I decided early on to apply Malachi 3:10. "Test me out, please, and see whether I will open to you the floodgates of the heavens" (paraphrasing). So I determined I was going to plan on my longest trip yet. 18 months. And on top of that, I wanted to keep my work trip as short as possible so that I could return to Guyana in enough time to attend our upcoming Circuit Assembly. Therefore, I would need to earn 18 months worth of money in just two months. Now it is worth noting that this would require a larger sum of money than I've ever earned before, and in the shortest work trip I've ever had. Absolutely impossible to do on my own (trust me, I've tried), but I decided to test Jehovah out and see if this was something he would allow to happen for me.
Before I had even left Guyana to begin my work trip, a brother from the United States asked a group of other Americans "Do any of you guys know someone in the U.S who's a painter and is available for a two-week job?"
"Don't tell me," I replied "This job begins at the beginning of August."
"Yeah," he says back "How'd you know?"
"Because I'm a painter and I'm looking for work at that time."
So long story short, between that job (which did in fact pan out very well) and other jobs I picked up in my time back, I earned all the necessary money for an 18-month stay. Along the way, also learned that Charlie Brohard, who'd come down last year, was hoping to return as well for a 3 month stay (don't remember him? Read all about him here!)
Of course, before returning to Guyana I got to make a quick side trip...
If you've ever heard me talk about my time spent at Wallkill Bethel, you've without doubt heard the names Jon and Alyssa Camacho. I'd worked with them and spent pretty much all my spare time with them as well. So it seemed an excellent idea to see them again, seeing as I was going to be flying out of JFK. Therefore, Charlie and I arrived two days early. Sunday morning they picked us up and took us to the Pine Bush NY congregation, which was having the Fiji Branch coordinator as their visiting speaker. I must say, after being so long in Guyana I truly have a difficult time understanding Americans when they speak, so hearing someone from Fiji speaking was a huge improvement in my understanding levels...
After the meeting the Camachos took us along on a hike to a place known as "Breakneck". Terrifying name, awesome hike.
And then, after two days of goofing off, the time came to fly out. Our flight left at 1:50 AM from New York, and by 6:30 AM we were in Trinidad. The awesome part of this is that there was an 8 hour layover there. Okay, that doesn't sound terrific, but I had been wanting to tour the branch there since 2011, so an 8-hour break seemed like the perfect time to finally go do that!
Shortly after 8 AM one of the Bethel workers drove out to the airport and picked us up, took us somewhere for breakfast and showed us around the city, and got us to the branch by 11 in time for our scheduled tour. Not only did we get to meet literally every Bethelite who works there (including visit the offices of each of the branch committee members), we also got invited to eat lunch with them!
How about an onslaught of pictures from Trinidad and the Bethel tour accompanied by brief descriptions and/or snarky quips??
|Trinidad, just outside the airport.|
|Front door/entrance area.|
|Front desk. And Charlie. Charlie's the one with the mustache.|
|Kingdom Hall which is built into the branch building. Serves two|
congregations, and Monday night Watchtower study for
the Bethel family.
|Lunch with the family! It looks empty due to us getting|
there early. About a dozen more showed up immediately after.
All in all, an excellent day spent. Finally, by 1 PM, time came for us to go back to the airport and board our final flight, straight from Trinidad to Georgetown Guyana. A brother was waiting to pick us up there as well and drove us (despite having to stop to repair a flat. A minor setback) to the home where we'll be staying until tomorrow when we head into Orealla.
Nearly home. So close.